Coming across someone who has never taken a train ride in his or her life is hardly a matter of great surprise. Especially these days when flights have become so affordable and a lot less time consuming and is just a click away, to many the thought of taking a train ride has never even come. But hoping that it has never happened to you, we bring you five train routes to plan for and here's why--their scenic beauty brings nostalgia.
The British wanted Shimla, the erstwhile summer capital of India to be more accessible and so there was the birth of the Kalka-Shimla railway in 1898. The narrow-gauge railway route chugs along the hilly and picturesque route from Kalka of Panchkula district in Haryana to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most beautiful and dramatic train routes in India and the view of the neighbouring hills and small villages along the route are there to prove it. The scenic route is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This route is one of the greenest routes you'll find in India. Once it crosses Guwahati city, it traverses through tea plantations beautiful mist-covered gorges and the oh-so-gentle drizzle of precipitation. The route has many tunnels and the light at the end of every tunnel brings a scenery so green and so fresh, the best of Barak valley and Borail Range.
One of the five Mountain Railways of India (Kalka-Shimla is one of them), The New Jalpaiguri - Darjeeling route is one of the most well known train routes in India. The iconic toy train to Darjeeling runs on this railway route. Experience the drop in temperature and beautiful scenery unfold as you approach Darjeeling. The sight of the majestic Kanchenjunga and tea gardens is guaranteed to give you chills (in a good way).
If not for anything else, do this route for its 92 tunnels and 2000 bridges. The train route connecting two of the most visited places in India is stunning with Western Ghats on one side and Arabian sea on the other. The Mumbai-Goa route is without a doubt a photographer's delight. Imagine this--one moment you are looking at green verdant forest and then the scene shifts to a glorious sunset scene where the setting sun meets the vast expanse of the sea.
Keeping the best for last, here is the Mandapam-Rameshwaram route for you. This train route falls on the Palk Strait that's between Tamil Nadu and the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. The strait connects Bay of Bengal with Palk Bay that falls on the southwest. Here lies the island of Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu), famous for its temples. The only way to reach Rameshwaram is through Pamban Sea Bridge (a railway bridge) and the sight is superb. The railway bridge passes over Adam's Bridge (a chain of low islands and reef shoals) also known as Ram Setu from the Hindu mythology. The train ride gives a spectacular view of the vast blue sea. You'll have to ride it to believe it.